Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Oats and Desserts

This is the last in a trilogy of call and response poems, inspired by the work of Amy Rainbow, to whom I am indebted:

Oats- by Amy Rainbow

I met him when I was working
In a greasy spoon cafe
He said it was fate that he’d met me
That things often turn out that way
That just when you’ve given up looking
You could meet the girl of your dreams
And the woman you’ve searched half your life for
Is right on your doorstep, it seems

He was funny and drop-dead gorgeous
Called me flower and angel and pet
He asked for my mobile number
But Siobhan said to play hard to get
And Joanna said don’t trust a trucker
They’ve a woman in every town
Take your time, take it slow, get to know him
To make sure that he won’t let you down

He came in twice a week for his porridge
And he did have the gift of the gab
But he swore he was ready to settle
Was too old now to play Jack the Lad
His sweet-talking charm won me over
And I said I’d go out on a date
But there’d been some delay at the depot
So he got to the pub an hour late.

We got on like a house on fire
And when it was time to go home
He insisted on coming to my place
Didn’t want me to walk on my own
So of course he came in for coffee
And he ended up staying all night
Then he asked me for porridge for breakfast
Cause he knew that I’d make it just right

He told me that I was his soul mate
That the bond that we has was unique
That he wanted to make a commitment
Could he move all his stuff in next week?
And oh, how I loved all the cuddles
How I swooned at his dreamy blue eyes
He assured me he’d always be faithful
And he promised me he’d tell me no lies.

I liked having someone to care for
And I did all I could so he’d stay
Did he washing and cooking and ironing
And I gave him his oats every day
He told me that I was his princess
So I treated him just like a King
But he gave me no silver to speak of
He was saving it all for a ring

When they offered him long distance haulage
He called it a stroke of luck
But I started to miss all the cuddles
As he’d sleep overnight in his truck
It’s not easy to hold it together
When your partner’s away half the time
But he swore that if he could he’d be with me
And he vowed that his heart was all mine.

Siobhan said that I deserved better
With my looks and my rains and soft heart
That he treated me worse than a doormat
Disrespected me straight from the start
He’d have cut down his shifts if I’d told him
But it wasn’t my place to ask
So I’d lovingly cook him his porridge
Send him off with his oats in a flask

Then this woman rang early one morning
Said she had something urgent to say
She told me that she was expecting
That my Jack had been playing away
I felt sick with the humiliation
Oh the shame of it oh the despair
Through the whole of our eighteen months courtship
He’d been getting his oats elsewhere

Siobhan said she had seen it all coming
And so did my boss and my folks
They said it was weird and unhealthy
The obsession he had with his oats
That’s the last time I fall for a player
My heart’s battered and tattered and torn
I shall give up on men altogether
And I’m going to marry Siobhan

Oats and Desserts – by Gary Longden

I met her when I was driving
At a greasy spoon cafe
I had my routine of pit stops
A different one for every day
Love had never been very kind to me
More nightmares than the girls of my dreams
But the new girl Jane smiled as she poured
Offering more than refreshment it seemed

The haulage game is notorious
For waitresses giving you the eye
Playing with honest men’s affections
Even though there are plenty of fish to fry
Joanne and Siobhan teased and giggled
As they tossed my breakfast hash brown
I played it cool and collected
So tired of being let down

I always have liked my porridge
Jane would give me just a little bit more
I buy it regularly each morning
She would wink , well you know the score
Flirting teasing and chatting,
Invariably making me late
So I vaccumed my cab specially like
Before we went out on a date

She was pretty and funny, a bit of a laugh
And when it was time to go home
She said that she was frightened by the dark
So we walked back together and not on her own
She loosened a few buttons as she asked me in
With a knowing look and a lustful grin
Next morning when I left unwrapping our coats
I departed as a man who had already had his oats

We shared the same interests ,
The same music the same bands
And when she kissed me gently
I was putty in her hands
She was sexy and tactile
The sweetest of fates
She liked Marvin Gaye
And we became soul mates

Her domestic routine was quite curious
Formica surfaces always wiped down
With vinegar and salt sachets perfectly placed
Paper napkins placed carefully around
Her housekeeping was quite excellent
But there was a problem , it was just that
Although a goddess in the kitchen
Her hair always reeked of stale fat

The foul aroma was quite overpowering
The stench it irritated and irked
So when the boss asked for volunteers
I opted for long distance work
Yes the long nights can be quite lonely
A test to stay faithful and true
Particularly when I discovered that on night stops
Siobhan had started to work too

Siobhan said that I deserved better
With my looks and my brains and soft heart
That Jane was mocking me behind my back
And had been right from the start
She said that she had a plan
That backstabbing inevitably hurts
And that although Jane was alright with oats
She was the best with desserts

Ringing Jane , she disguised her voice
The betrayal was too much to bear
How desserts had then led to afters
And now there was a little one there
He felt sick with the awkwardness of it
Choosing between them , it just wasn’t fair
Yet throughout the last eighteen months
He’d been getting his oats, everywhere…..

Sunday, 13 November 2011


Thick and fast
Ever whiter
Till all trace of man simply disappears

The frozen lake
In winters tight vice
While children slip and slide in abandon

Sags heavy
Heady aroma intoxicating
As diners wait in anticipation

Under green fir
Wrapped tightly with care
Torn asunder in joyous excitement

The Shepley Lion

Stalking as it has done for millennia
It prowls the warm Pennine hillside
Evading human eyes

Scourge of ancient homesteads
His cunning admired
His strength feared

From Birdsedge to Holmfirth
They talk of him, and the Golden Cradle
Buried in Round Wood

Where the circle of the dead lies
Waiting to give up its secrets
For a price

Patrolling at dusk, in the shadows
It is a price none are willing
To pay

It is said that some evenings
At the Cask & Spindle
Its growl may still be heard

A warning to all who seek ancient secrets
A reminder of forgotten powers
And the past

Still, the Shepley Lion
Has us
In his thrall

Friday, 11 November 2011


It was the perfect ball
I knew it from the moment it left my hand
As it arced towards the batsman’s crease
Spinning, whirring – ever closer to its destiny
Neither his eyes, nor his bat, could reply
So it seemed
Before his stumps shattered
The bails billowing in the still warm evening air
Our hands reached skywards in exultation
The umpire’s finger rose in confirmation
I thought, when we are all dead
Heaven will feel like this
And it will have one hell of a good cricket team

Outside the Courthouse

Splenetic rage consumes
Contorted faces

Revenge retribution
Lifts angry fists
In time

Other’s sad misfortune
Drawing them in

Distant deeds far removed
Behind double doors
Seem close

Bared teeth hissing
Hate in lazy

Guilty turned out to be
An apposite

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Ras Mohammed

Absorbed in amniotic languor
Opaque brightness fades
In descent

Only the sound of my own diaphragm reverberates
Tolling in deathly rhythmic

The Dunraven sprawls, spent prone
Tears gouge mortal wounds

Entering her warm currents pulse
Doors ajar, passageways call

With one kick she is gone
In a burst of bubbles

And in heady exit
A crescendo of life cries

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Aston Hall

Alien Invasion in Aston

It is as if a spaceship had descended
A bloody great Jacobean one
Descending to destroy the muck and grime
The ugliness of what surrounds , calling time

On the careless buildings which abound

Squat and ugly temporary
Bland insipid monstrosities
That choke at its chimneys
And paw at its gates
Over run by mediocrity most ignominious of fates

A superior race with thought and care
With time to wonder what goes where
Should visit us fast
To conquer those who build not to last
For Holte and Watt were visionaries too
Not men for suffering architectural fools
Who allowed place and sightlines to be wrecked, blocked and mangled
All in the name of progress and new fangled

The alien forms would question the intelligence,
Of those who thought that the M6 had perspective relevance
To splendour and pride and artistic aesthetics
Not a bungled attempt at a transportation quick fix
So roll out your weapons and your powerful armouries
And flatten the offending to restore landscape harmonies.

The Long Gallery- Aston Hall

Where ladies pout whilst showing out
Escorted by husbands or young men
Where gossip slips from indiscreet lips
Of who, and what and when
With reports exchanged of Trafalgar or Waterloo
Or other tales of Empire derring-do
On the turn she might expose a heel, perhaps an ankle
Just a glimpse enough to make paramours thankful
Haughtily ignoring the gasps, the sighs
For really this was but light exercise
When outside rain might smudge a perfectly powdered nose
Or risk a stain on virgin white hose
When precipitation might flatten carefully coiffeured tresses
Or dampen the line of voluminous dresses
Which dipped, swept and ostentatiously swayed
At the distinguished , morning promenade

Groom to the Stool of the King

(Inscription above the fireplace in front of which the servants dined)

If service be thy means to thrive
Thou must therein remain
Both silent faithful just and true
Content to take some pain

If love of virtue may allure
In hope of worldly gain
In fear of God may thee procure
To serve do not disdain

If you are groom to the stool of the king
Whenever his aides came beckoning
It was your task to produce his throne
A seat of which he called his own
For kings do not attend a lavatory
Instead they come to him you see
A noble regal affectation
Providing comfy defacation
And because sometimes before relief
His majesty would sup upon gold leaf
The groom would sift the contents rough and runny
As where there’s muck there’s always money

Aston Hall

Grand avenue
A mile long colonnade
Such grandeur and flat bread in a

Great hall
Roaring fireplace
Hosting nobility
Impressing Kings in a room and
A half

Shattered fragments
Blown by Parliaments force
Munitions and splinters remain
In place

Tunnels and doors
To the church or beyond?
Escape route from foul treachery
And fear

Wealth and excess
In perfect symmetry
Subjugation and achievement

The Man in Tweed Meets the girl in Floral Prints

The Man Who Wore Tweed by Amy Rainbow

I was done running round after pretty young things
Had enough thrills and spills and the heartache it brings
And although debauched living was plenty of fun
It was high time my life as a nun had begun
So I dumped all the hair dye and ditched all the glitz
Swapped breath taking corsets for clothing that fits
Then I popped to the bookshop for something to read
And that’s when i met him the man who wore tweed

He was after a book called the mind of MacBeth
While I wanted romance not madness and death
But then as he queued he defended his choice
With such fire in his eyes, such delight in his voice
That I wanted to talk and to listen to more
For here was a passionate man I was sure
Then for once in my life I let him take the lead
And was asked out for drinks by the man who wore tweed

He was old, almost eighteen months older than me
But had manners and grace and was gentlemanly
We chatted for hours got drunk on champagne
Till the manager threw us out into the rain
And we laughed and began to walk home through the park
Where we sang in the moonlight, and danced in the dark
And then when he kissed me I melted weak kneed
That’s the moment I fell for the man who wore tweed

He inhabits my dreams and lights up my days
He pokes fun at my sesquipedalian ways
And i in return make the odd playful swipe
At his trilby and cords, at his slippers and pipe
But despite seeming utterly wholly mismatched
We’re both ready to end all that no strings attached
So yes i confess i will have to concede
That I’m smitten, bewitched, by the man who wears tweed

For a change I am sure that my judgement’s not wrong
More distinguished than handsome, more clever than strong
Quite unlike all the men that I usually meet
He’s a vet who breeds beagles and deals in antiques
It’s a meeting of minds not libido’s and lips
And i find that his company always outstrips
That of youths living loosely and spreading their seed
Yes, I’d far rather be with the man who wears tweed

He’s honest and tactile yet funny and deep
He plays jazz on piano and sings me to sleep
He’s the rarest of finds, a reliable man
And my friends think its strange, but I don’t give a damn
Because what they don’t realise and what they can’t see
Is he makes me feel safe and he lets me be me
Now my life is complete, I have all that I need
In my country retreat with the man who wears tweed.

The Girl in Floral Prints

Young girls are so exciting and dizzy and ace
How I loved all the wooing the chat and the chase
Skyscraper heels are fetching though not built to last
Especially ,as in them, girls cannot run fast
But discos become tiresome, tight trousers a bore
And I reckoned that I should get out about more
I knew that a bookshop would deter foolish bints
And that is where I met the girl in floral prints

She was browsing pulp fiction, a dubious start
My choice in light reading is usually Descartes
My mind raced like lightning have you heard of Macbeth?
“Of course I have” she smiled with the softest of breaths
She oozed self assurance and confidence you see
Arousing my interest in her biography
So I took a chance despite what others might think
Deciding to ask out the girl in floral prints

A little younger than me though well past her youth
Her sweet words entranced me refined, never uncouth
She quaffed champagne like water till she’d had her fill
Leaving me gasping as I settled up the bill
She spent all of my money, so we had to walk
Holding hands laughing smiling just happy to talk
My courage emboldened by lust and earlier drinks
I leaned across and kissed the girl in floral prints

With flowers on her dresses and blouses and skirts
All my intuition was to fear the worst
She’s smart and she’s spiky a real philosopher
Yet try as I might I cannot get cross with her
Her flat shoes are sensible, her make up discreet
She paints pictures of daisies on the toes of her feet
She’s sassy and funny with no highlights or tints
Causing me to fall for the girl in floral prints

My friends think I am mad, I don’t care what they say
Her early morning smile just brightens up my day
And when she stays out late and I’m wondering why
It’s only a meeting at the WI
In the kitchen she bakes cakes assiduously
In bed she’s more Ann Summers than Laura Ashley
With those clothes discarded she’s a bit of a minx
Oh I ‘m so in love with the girl in floral prints

I am proud to admit I’m the man who wears tweed
And there is something on which we are both agreed
A truth which is clear to us, so firmly impressed
Never make assumptions upon how people dress.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

The Gilbertstone

Hewn from the tallest cliff
The craggiest crag
The roughest rock
It stands defiant as a dragons tooth
Wrenched from unyielding ancient strata
To claim ancient lands
When monsters roamed, wolves marauded
And bears lay in wait
Yet this was Gilbert’s land
With the strength of a hundred oxen
And the determination of a thousand men
He dropped his rock, marker
Sign of his great giant’s power
Left to leave lesser giants in fear
And mere mortals in awe
Bulging menacingly from the ground below
As some would have it Giant Gilbert’s Toe

Friday, 21 October 2011

21st Century Theology

“And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves”

And they came to St Pauls
To challenge the usurers,
Snake oil salesmen
And false prophets
But the Dean moved
Them on
Health and safety
And lost revenue
You understand

Sic Gloria Transit Mundi

Dragged, no better than a beggar’s dead dog
Through Sirtes’ indifferent gutters
Eyes closed, dyed black hair matted

A shattered temple, exultant cries the farewell salute
To a Mad Dog whose day had come
Victim to grappling hands, time and hubris

Teeth now bared in empty shock, not anger
Fingers limp, no longer pointing
Fresh flesh flayed in expiation

In vengeance, in warning
In summary execution

Monday, 17 October 2011


The Message
Inert being
Yet when thrown carries a potent message.

It gasped
Under foot
Though once verdant
Now its sapped span lies prone spent and broken

Big Cat
The cats’ sleek shape
Lures all those around barely murmuring

Tired eyes
Meet morning light
Each sight a miracle in its own right

Child After Radiotherapy
Slender limbs
With sallow eyes
Too young to comprehend, consumed by trust

Boring People in Hospital Treatment Waiting Rooms

I prefer silence, quiet reflection
Interrupted only by the passing purposeful pace of a nurses flat shoe
Or the quiet invocation that it is “time to come through”

Where a book may be read, a trusty tome
Or ones thoughts collected
Over no more than hushed tones.

Unfortunately Mr McGill did not see it that way
As his voice boomed out the levels of his PSA
Statins he declared are certainly most dangerous
And that although he knew he shouldn’t, he always liked to make a fuss
You will be pleased to learn that as I thought about the name McGill
I didn’t have the heart to try rhyming it with just ill
It seemed too obvious , too pat, too trite
But the more I think about him I really just might.

He liked broccoli and cabbage , but definitely not onions
And was certainly not keen on other people’s opinions
His Dad’s birthday is on Friday, but there will be no to-ing and fro-ing
Although he is 86 he can’t be bothered going
Friday for him is simply no good you see
But at the weekend they might take him along to a carvery
Which is good because you can get potatoes veg and peas
Then the nurse saved us with “Mr McGill this way please”
But our joy turned to grief as she stopped to let him know
“Yes I’ve checked, come back at the same time, tomorrow

Wednesday, 12 October 2011


Some talk of fights, struggles and battles
As if a glorious campaign is being fought
Where the valiant are victorious, and the weak vanquished

Yet this in no equal contest
One not solicited, or sought
No challenge was laid down, or accepted

Instead a bitter withering rearguard action
Against a relentless foe
With fate and time on its side

It just came, to stay, an unwelcome visitor
From whom there can be no respite
Just an accommodation – an understanding

There will be no triumphs, or failures
The stoic may be overwhelmed, the supine reprieved
Sometimes just being, is enough

The brave seek no more than another day
Those who succumb desired that day no less.

Library Love

Our eyes met
I gazed
In fiction

She smiled
I beamed
We moved to romance

Nimble fingers scanned the shelf
She was looking for herself
I was dewey eyed

We whispered surreptitiously
Pulse clanging cacophony
In biography

Then her Mother appeared
Saying they had to go
And she was history

Friday, 30 September 2011

Library Love

Our eyes met
I gazed
In fiction

She smiled
I beamed
We moved to romance

Nimble fingers scanned the shelf
She was looking for herself
I was dewey eyed

We whispered surreptitiously
Pulse clanging cacophony
In biography

Then her Mom showed
Saying they had to go
And she was history

Friday, 23 September 2011

Check-out Girl

Her pink polish
Failed to fill
Her nail

As she pressed
Coins carelessly

My outstretched palm
With warm

And I wondered
What else
Was missing

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

National Poetry Day Trio

Ikon Gallery

Don’t listen to me, see what joys abound
As you look around, don’t sit down
Join with me ,in the gallery, and soar,
Like you have never done before,
To places you have never been or seen

Dare,  to dream.
To see what others
Have laid bare, with their fingers and imagination

Lose your inhibitions in an exhibition - of Solakov
Join him “In the City”, share his “folders”
His fears as he flies alone
“Top Secret” revealed, encrypted phone

View the index cards of his life
His pain his strife in “My Conscience Tormenting Me”
Or his murals in 3d
Or his toilet graffiti
A big man with a small idea in his head
Is what he said........

He would like that.
For you to know
A little more about, Sedko

For here is to explore
To tell others what you saw
To live just a little bit more
And maybe, for you to remember a phrase, a word
From that  poet , whose thoughts you heard

St Martins

Assailed on all sides, by time
Man and money
St Martins Stands
Walls hunched tight
Against the onslaught
Yet eternally prevails

Here folk spoke, of King Henry
When the world lay flat.

Hammer beam roof hangs and guardian Angels gaze
Listen !

To the peace in the eye of the city’s storm
Catch, if you can, the sixteen bells peal

In darkness the silvery Selfridge’s shells glitter
Whilst the blue light on the Ssuth transept’s window  flickers
Spire reaching upwards
Grimshill stone finger grasping
For the stars.
Seeking salvation,
As a City sleeps

Cafe Blend

Where gossip sits on the froth speckled lips
Of conspiratorial customers
Dripping like over applied gloss
Where ladies that latte might risk a frappe
For a dare

Where lovers meet, unaware
And shoppers exchange compliments on
What they have bought to wear

Where, for a fleeting while, time stands still

Where waitresses are pretty, and the waiters just as lush
And the blaring traffic outside is reduced to a hush
And snatched  conversations lazily come and go
Did he really say “I’m not inflammable, you know,”
Across a gently cooling , Americano

And the Baristas entice and flirt to procure
An exotic drink or a house made liqueur
Chocolate and cake lie in wait to breach dietary trust
As you stop stare in anguish crying , “I shouldn’t but I must.”

At the next table, to me
She left suddenly, her handbag tightly clutched
Her drink barely touched
Her head filled with doubt
As she rushed on her way out
I wondered what for
As she slipped out the door
I should have said hello
I just wanted you to know
A mysterious end
To her stay at Cafe Blend

Monday, 19 September 2011

Loose Change

A farthing was not much, even then
Just half a ha’penny

Threepenny bits were lopsided, awkward
They didn’t quite fit

The tanner, staple of pocket money
Christmas pudding surprise, and song

Two shillings never sounded as grand as a florin
A crown more famous by half

And although it is easier to count by tens than twelves
The names have never been replaced

Resisting the decimal point they endure
Always a name, never a number

They linger in our memory
As coins resting in a well-worn pocket

Harbinger of delight when discovered
Never simply change

The Visit

“We are entering the spider’s web”
My mother muttered
A world of Eynon’s pies, cockles and Welsh cakes

Of strange place names and words
Where a fuss is a palaver
And the cry for a mess that you see is ych-y- fi

The threads hummed as we neared our destination
Not everyone has a telephone you see
Marble doorsteps gleamed, knee imprints fading

Gran drew me close with outstretched arms
Her “lovely boy” , aunts smothering me with wet kisses
Unknown cousins gawping awkwardly

The open door swung endlessly to and fro
Relatives and friends made to come and go
Best China soon exhausted

In the parlour, with furniture shrouded in covers
Each item perfectly placed
For high days and holidays

Grandad took me by my hand, a frail man
And showed me the Anderson shelter which he had built for eight
With railways sleepers, earth and his own sweat

The Guildhall clock stood, lonely sentinel
Unintentional aiming point for German bombers
Keeping time

The runner beans were doing well this year
Spindly threads on weathered canes
Wartime thrift always leaves its mark

He shared a secret, his bayonette from the First World War
Though he never spoke of what he saw
But it is all my father now possesses which was his

Clothes sloshed in a rusting bucket
The mangle stood like an instrument of torture
Through which every item was wrung

A warm stove pulsed heat, assuaging my embarrassment
As she plunged me in the tin bath
Cooling water topped up from a boiled kettle

The buttons on my father’s Air Force Officer uniform gleamed
My brother and I sat awkwardly
As we reported to all who asked, our age.

“I hope that you have your vest under that”, it’s turned cold
Cautioned my Gran to my Dad
And our eyes met.

Hermit's Lament

Cave wanted for

Have own blanket
Donations of cheese, bread

Herrings and gin

Proximity to barbers

Please contact at

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Word Police

I noticed that Collins have decided to make words redundant
Without asking you and me
And I am somewhat surprised by their inconsistency
For it appears that aerodrome is to be no more
As now they are seen to be what airports are for
But imagine a propeller powered passenger plane
Descending from the skies carrying fifties filmstars
And adoring waiting fans sighs
And then it will become apparent what all of us have known- for such a flight,
Only an aerodrome is home.

And the charabanc too is being consigned to the dustbin
As if such simple pleasures didn’t exist or had never been.
Even dustbins themselves are on the way out
For bins are no longer to put rubbish in and keep places clean
Instead they are multi - purpose receptacles for re-cy-cling
The joys of a trip an outing a journey with you and us
Can  never be adequately described by the humble term  “ bus”
So why expunge such glorious, older terms, and phrases
Whose perfunctory exile is determined on the flimsiest of cases

And the meaning of modern words is also being lost
Their original meanings tossed – aside.
Consider the word shopping it’s a little bit highfalutin
When popular culture has downgraded it and calls it simply looting
And how about “room”?
 For it simply is no more
The area that sits above the floor
Is now called a space
No longer defined by drawing room or sitting room or bed.
Space, a word that for me is simply not so cool
Whatever happened to the trusty vestibule

So what will go next? Almost certainly the book
Rectangular and weighty with a satisfying look
Which when dropped in the bath when reading,
Immersed and dripping wet, can have its dripping paper
Saved by a radiator,
Which when spread across the top, open and arched
Can be dried and resuscitated, pleasingly parched
- Unlike a kindle

 A “Badger” too will be no more, soon to be forgot
Blasted to oblivion by farmers with buckshot
Like “fish” who used to swim in the sea, caught by nets that sagged
That are doomed very soon to catch only plastic bags

But all that we need to do to save words form half remembered confusion
Is to nurture them ,to cherish them, but most of all to use them

Atlantic Crossing

The quayside terminus belched steam and passengers
Parallel rails yielding to a dipping sea
A black iron cliff rose, majestic

Pockmarked with perfect rivets
Covered gangways swayed
A mysterious Rubicon

Corridors splayed in labyrinthine luxury
The Purser prowling imperious as
White jacketed stewards scurried, in service

The band bade godspeed as we slipped horizon bound
Lips mouthing, hands, hats scarves waving
Streamers billowed from cheering crowds

Tugs screamed to wrench the Leviathan
From its moorings to Solent water
Fire hoses arced in wind tossed spray

Remorselessly, the prow cleft the surging swell
Aft the frothy maddened wake
Lay momentarily, trace of our passing

Quoits rasped over polished decks
Grey shadows surfaced then sank
Eternity  stretched endlessly

For five days no object checked our passage
The moon, stars and sun our celestial waypoints
Watched by whispering crests

The solid line on a misty horizon
Defined  our destination as surely as
Brooklyn Bridge

The cradle of the oceans arms released
Her thankful charges
Into the Manhattan cacophony

Three funnels smoke
Rising above the teeming waterfront
Sketched a fleeting farewell

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Fading Fun

Mary Mack, jumping jack
Not too rough Blind Mans bluff
Ball tag fracture the flag

Hide and seek every week
Hide your face for kiss chase
Hopscotch fun for everyone

I spy with my little eye
The playground echoes to cries and call
Resounding sounds of paddle ball

Make them up , do what you are able
Splayed fingers rocking the cat’s cradle

Chinese whispers friend’s eldest sisters
Laughing, cheating , ever bolder
Essential skills for when we are older

Oh the games we play

Thursday, 18 August 2011

The Olde Tavern

In the bowels
Of the growelry
The brabble
Ebbed and flowed
As barmaids foozled
Offering frothy pints
In swoopstake abandon
Elbows bowed

Saturday, 6 August 2011


Small Ads

For sale:
Size ten
Wedding dress
Strapless off white,
Sequin detail to the bust and waist area,
Also comes with hoop required for dress.
Never worn.

Polemic on Freedom

Man is born free, yet everywhere he is in chains,
So I read,
That  Rousseau said ,
And he is still right,
As freedom becomes twisted to make and sate
Whatever self centred hybrid  that we can create
For ourselves, but not- for each other
And so freedom for the people of Gaza
Means imprisonment behind their own border
And a nation state is free to deprive the sick of medicine
To protect their own order
And oppress others
Which is no freedom at all
But the mentality of those who think small
Whilst in Brussels we talk of free trade
Of what money can be made
But the children of Somalia want to be freed
 from the greed
Of warlords who would rather buy guns for themselves than water for the thirsty,
To purchase death rather than save life
Where oppression and strife,
But  no new rain eases the scorched earth of destruction
Yet it is not just far away
That our feeble minds have strayed
From what is right and is wrong, for so long. 

Old freedoms lie in the balance
At the mercy of corporate dalliance
And careless staff do the rounds
In homes  to be sold off or closed down
Of men and women who fought for freedom
Not this.

And they will have you believe that Gordon Taylor from the players football association
For having a meaningless telephone conversation
Is due compensation
Of £900,000
While the elderly cannot get around
Because the money cannot be found

In whom can we be trusting
When our liberties lie rusting
In such specious, spun words
Ringing hollow and absurd.

So saying what you do mean, is mea
Or demeaning?
Or is it the mean of what you mean that is meant?
What was the meaning? 

Was it what you thought, but did not say,
Or what you said but did not mean?
Or was it just that we did not glean
From what you said
What we should have seen?

Were your words pristine?
Or not what they might have been?
Is it that on which you were not keen?
And if you now say you did not mean what was said
What was read -And you said it,
Well what did you mean?
What should we, the team, glean?

That you say what you mean?
Or that what you said you didn’t mean?
But it should not have been seen.

And although what you say, you do not always mean
As the words can refer to another scene that was seen,
You do now,
(From what I can glean)
Think that we should trust you and hold you in the highest esteem.
But not what you say.

Well not always.
Not what you said yesterday, anyway.
Just what you say ,today. Ok?

You think that we should believe you, that what you say is true
Maybe some of the words,  perhaps just a few?
But  when some talk of freedom be wary of such claims
Test what is said carefully, and listen for those chains.

Garden Control

Its reptilian jaw chomped
Bony shell barely visible
Amidst swaying blades

Nimble teeth nibbled
Mesh and floppy ears
Casting eerie shadows

Mournfully munching
Grey wisps fluttered
Billy goats gruff

Swift hooves  danced
Lithe legs poised for flight
Daring to graze

Janet rested
Glass in hand
Lawnmower redundant

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Rebekah Brooks

I like bad girls,
I like them rough and tough,
 I like their temptress looks,
And I have to now confess to you
That I am in love with Rebekah Brooks

She’s mates with the superstars ,like Madonna and Sarah Brown
And if she gets pissed off, she can close newspapers down
Those svelte power suits that long red flaming hair
She’s always at the centre of things even if she wasn’t there

And even though things, did not always go as planned
She had the boys on the Parliamentary  committee
Eating out of her hand

Her coquettish smile leaves me trembling
I love her cute dissembling,
When she has such trouble remembering
When criminality was at large
Even though she was in charge.

You would have thought that her reporters
Would have lined up for a smacking
When their editor had detected a spot of illegal hacking
But she didn’t

And all that she can say
Is she was away on holiday,
That these events cause much dismay,
 In an, “I’ve been caught out sort of way”

No worries for her about the law, I would have thought
For Rebekah has already considered that, and the law’s been bought.
Forget Dave, Nick and Ed if, for you, power is the key
For Rebekah is much more important than that,
She runs the slumber par-ty
Which is a bit more influential  than those political ones, I fear
Whose hidden manifesto was to have  her  most nibble-able  of ears

Or maybe more..........

They gazed at her, and their self seeking libido erupted
Queuing up to have their principles corrupted
Her beauty and good looks are a source of constant wonder
But there is one thing you should never forget,
And that is
Rebekah has  your number